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Green Tokyo

Tokyo and its green secrets. In spite of being so large and busy, Tokyo offers many options to those who wish to relax in the nature. First of all, though, you should be aware of a fundamental difference between what Japanese people call koen and teien.

 

 

Both words both indicate a “park”, but if you are going to the koen, chances are you are a mom with young children or you are meeting your friends for a pic-nic and a playful afternoon. On the other hand, if you enter a teien, forget about noises and bothers and just concentrate on the connection your soul gets with the surrounding environment.

 

A Teien can be public or private, but generally the entrance fee is not required or it is very low (up to 300 JPY). Shinjuku Gyouen is a beautiful public garden close to the Shinjuku Gyouen Mae stop on the Tokyo Metro Marunouchi line. Originally a residence of the Naitō imperial family, today it is under the jurisdiction of the National Ministry of the Environment. This garden blends three distinct styles: French Formal, English Landscape and Japanese – the latter of which finds its greatest expression in the traditional teahouse concealed among the trees.

 

Chinzan-so is a private garden situated in the Bunkyou area.  It is now the garden of the Four Season Hotel, but the access is free. The Chinzan-so garden, covering an area of upwards to 66,000 square meters, is rich in historic remains and artifacts, like the thousand-year-old pagoda – which was moved here from the Hiroshima mountains when the property passed on to Baron Heitaro Fujita.

 

Along with narrow alleways, a large pond, a waterfall and a natural spring, in Chinzan-so you will find a 500-year-old sacred tree whose trunk has a diameter of 4,5 meters – a real natural treasure.

 

If you like the idea of taking refuge in a quiet and meditative place inside the hectic Japanese metropolis, have a look at these lists of Tokyo’s most beautiful gardens and parks. Here are some amazing pictures taken by photographer Tim Porter.

[Sara Francesca, infocre.wordpress.com]


Links

http://www.tokyo-park.or.jp/

http://teien.tokyo-park.or.jp/en/index.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shinjuku_Gyoen

http://www.chinzanso.com/



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